Another year, another draft in the books. In years past, I simply compiled a list of the picks on their own page, and then wrote a really long piece giving my opinions on every pick. This year, I did day by day analysis, but in addition to that, I created a much expanded draft picks register. Please see the links below for all of the content. You can also find all of this information at the top of the site under the “Draft” sub-heading. When the dropdown pops up, select “2011 Draft Picks”
Check below for more on the 2011 draft
In lieu of going over all picks in detail, I decided this year to beef up the content on the Draft Picks Register page. For each prospect, you’ll find: College Commitment/Level, Height/Weight/Handedness, D.O.B, a quick one/two line scouting report, videos (if available), articles and profiles from newspapers and team websites, and then any detailed scouting reports I was able to locate. If you come across articles, scouting reports, videos or news of any kind of a player, please post it in the comments section of the draft picks register page, don’t post it here. In addition to all of the background information, I added a chart showing each pick which will be updated as players sign. If a signing bonus is not reported, you can assume it is $25,000 or less, and for guys taken after the 15th round or so, its often times much less.
What I do want to do is look at the draft from a few different angles, including the types of players taken, and then break the players down into groups based on expected price tag/my preferences. Before I do that, I do want to express one thing. I don’t know how good any of these players are. Neither do you. Perfect Game, Baseball America and every other source has a slightly better idea than we do. The Phillies have a slightly better idea than those people. But the reality is, no one knows. Prospect attrition rates are through the rough, and most guys drafted this year, not just by the Phillies, but by all teams, won’t be major leaguers, let alone stars. These guys give us names to dream on, to imagine the best case scenario, but that’s what they are…dreams. So with that disclaimer, let’s get after it.
I prepared 3 charts.
Distribution of Phillies draft picks from 2007-2011 by school level
* In 2009 and 2010, the Phillies got away from drafting an overwhelming majority of high school guys, selecting just 19 and 15 respectively. In 2011, they jumped back up to 24, which compares favorably to 2007 and 2008.
* The Phillies have gone the JuCo route quite a bit in the last 5 years, notably taking 8 guys last year. This year, just 4 were taken, the fewest since 2007
* The 12 college seniors is the fewest taken since 2008.
Distribution of Phillies draft picks by position
* It only “seems” like the Phillies never take catchers, but the reality is, they just haven’t had a lot of luck/spent a lot of picks on highly talented catchers. I was big on Cameron Rupp last year, but he’s struggled this year, and he came from a big time college program. Finding catchers is tough, but the Phillies took 7 of them this year.
* The Phillies drafted 6 shortstops in 2011, which equals their total taken from 2008-2010.
* The 17 RHP is the second lowest total since 2007.
* The 7 LHP taken is the 2nd most since 2007.
Distribution of Phillies draft picks in Rounds 1-10 by school level
* This was the first draft post 2006 in which the Phillies didn’t take a college senior in the first 10 rounds
* The 5 juniors taken was the most of the last 5 years.
So, what are the takeaways? I’m not sure. The Phillies have their lists, and they basically stick to them, depending on what the board gives them. The huge bounty of shortstops is obviously welcomed, as the system lacks many up the middle prospects, and the Phillies bread and butter, the projectable RHP, seems to have taken a back burner this year. Prior to the draft, Marti Wolever indicated the team would look at SS, C, and LHP prospects, and to his credit, they managed to snag 20 total.
The Signing Deadline
Now that we know who we got, the question is, whats next? The MLB signing deadline is August 15th, 2011 at midnight Eastern. All prospects not signed by this time go back in to the draft next year, with the exception of college seniors or players with no eligibility remaining, as they until before next year’s draft to sign a deal. Over the last few seasons, the Phillies have had a number of deals go down to the wire. In 2008, Jarred Cosart signed before the deadline, receiving a whopping $550K as a 38th round pick. In 2009, negotiations with Brody Colvin went down to the wire, with him eventually signing for $900K in the 7th round. Last year, the Phillies negotiated with 5th round pick Scott Frazier up until the final day, and when an agreement couldn’t be reached, the Phillies made 3 deadline signings, spreading out $1M between RHP Kevin Walter, RHP Jon Musser and OF Brian Pointer. Expect the same to happen this year, as the Phillies have a few big ticket items.
Potential impact of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement
Much has been made of potential changes to the draft, including mandating hard slotting for signing bonuses and extending the draft around the world instead of just the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. While I think the worldwide aspect is likely to fail because of logistics, I do believe hard slotting will be agreed to. This could have a number of impacts, both positive and negative. While I think Bud Selig is an idiot, here is what he had to say
Slotting and a truly worldwide Draft are two items that will be on the Collective Bargaining Agreement agenda when Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association begin to negotiate a new deal, with the current one set to expire at the end of the year. On Monday, in between reading the first-round selections at the podium for a fifth consecutive year, Selig reiterated his optimism that slotting will happen.
“I do. I’ve said before, so I’ll say it again, I believe in slotting and I believe in the worldwide Draft. I think it’s important,” Selig said. “Remember, we went to the Draft in 1965 — there was a reason that they went for it. They went for what I call competitive balance today. Back then they called it parity. I think the Draft has worked, but there are some things that have happened in the past five or six years that are a little worrisome. So I believe in slotting and I believe in the Draft.”
The intent of hard-slotting would be to even the playing field for all clubs, fostering a system in which the top talents go to the teams with the first picks and eliminating the possibility of better players falling to teams that have larger budgets, due to bonus demands.
The goal is to get the best prospects to the worst teams. As it currently stands, the Commish can only make slot “recommendations” to teams. When a team wants to pay over the recommended slot, they must contact the Commissioner’s Office and fill out the proper forms. The Commish, or one of his cronies, will call the team’s President and try to persuade the team to re-consider. But that is the end of their influence. Many teams, notably the Red Sox, Tigers, Yankees, Royals, Reds, Blue Jays and others have chosen to thumb their nose at these recommendations, while other teams such as the Mets, Angels and Astros normally adhere to the recommendations completely. A few teams, including the Phillies, generally follow the guidelines, but will color outside the lines on occasion. With hard slotting, in some form, restricting bonus amounts, it should level the field. There will be no negotiations and haggling, and theoretically, a player will know when he is picked exactly what he is enabled to as a bonus, and then he’ll decide if he wants to sign or not. With the Phillies scouts being as good as they are, this could be a huge benefit, because they will not have to face the constant worry about a player’s negotiating skills. However, this method could drive a lot of premium high school talent away from pro baseball and to college. Under the current system, if a premium prep prospect doesn’t get picked in the first 2 rounds, there’s a chance he will slide well down the draft. Teams generally start taking fliers on these guys after the 10th-15th round. They follow them through the summer, and then make an offer. Sometimes that offer is enough to buy the player out of college. Most times it’s not. Under a new rigid slotting system, these summer follows would almost assuredly disappear. This may mean deeper college drafts every year, but in the first 2-3 years of the new system, the talent could greatly drop off.
Considering these concepts, this summer shapes up as one of the more interesting in recent memory. Industry whispers indicate a number of teams seem more willing to just spend this year and not worry about what the Commish says, and then worry about slotting this winter when negotiations open. Will the Phillies be one of these teams? I don’t know. As a high school prospect, you know that in 3 years, the baseball signing bonus system may look a lot different. Which means if a team is offering you $300K as a 10th round pick, you may be well advised to take that money and start your pro career.
When you talk about the draft, “signability” is the biggest catch word there is. Area scouts who see these prospects multiple times a season get to know the players they focus on, and they start to understand what the kid’s intentions are. Your signability is determined based on 3 main factors: college commitment/eligbility remaining, developmental curve, and family belief/pressure. As a high school junior/senior, you want to secure the best possible scholarship possible, even if you have no intention of going to college. Big time D-1 programs carry a lot of clout, and securing a scholarship to one of these schools gives you a high amount of leverage. Conversely, a commitment to junior college program, either because of poor grades or a desire to re-enter the draft in a year could lower your leverage slightly. A player with a commitment to Vanderbuilt, one of the top programs in college baseball, and a commitment to a small Junior College in Kansas are basically on opposite ends of the leverage spectrum. The second factor is family “pressure” or considerations. If a prospect comes from a very affluent family where money is not a prime concern, they can view the $200,000 signing bonus a team is offering as unimportant to their long term future. In some cases, a prospect’s family will urge them to attend college because of family connections to the college, or just because they feel the 3-4 years of college is more important to their growth as a person. The developmental curve means that a prospect may not have a commitment to a great program now, but because of the projection left on a player’s physical growth or tools, they estimate their draft stock will be significantly higher in 3 years. These prospects often play multiple sports in high school and have very underdeveloped baseball skills, but huge physical projection and growth. You add all of this together, and you get an idea of how signable a player is. A player from a wealthy family with a commitment to a college with an excellent baseball program that both of his parents attended may be virtually unsignable, while a prospect with a JuCo commitment from a regular middle class family may be more motivated to sign. Draft eligible sophomores and Junior College players have a bit more leverage than the typical high school junior because they have multiple years of draft eligibility remaining.
A review of the Phillies picks, grouped by upside
I wanted to approach this final recap by grouping the players into tiers, and trying to guess the bonus amount that will be required to get the player signed. I’m going to give more detailed thoughts on the higher ranked guys, and brush over the other guys with very brief (or no) thoughts. Here are the tiers I’ve divided guys into and the criteria I used to reach this assumption
5 Star Guys = Elite potential prospects. Potential all-stars and difference makers
4 Star Guys = Above average prospects, maybe not all-stars, but very good
3 Star Guys = Average prospects, chance to be big league regulars/starting pitchers/closer
2 Star Guys = Fringy prospects, likely bench guys if things break right/middle relievers/spot starters
1 Star Guys = Org filler, highly unlikely they will reach the majors or contribute in any meaningful way
Remember, this is subjective, and just my opinion. Your mileage may vary. And it probably will. I’m not ranking guys within each group, just listing them as I go, so don’t read anything in to that. The bonus amounts are going to be estimates. Not all guys will sign. The guys who sign will often times sign for more or less than my estimate. That’s why its called an estimate. I’m just trying to get an idea of the player’s current talent, his projected talent, and the amount of leverage he has moving forward to give a guess.
5 Star Guys
Larry Greene Jr, OF [Estimated bonus = $850,000] – Greene’s power alone could make him an all-star, and its a good thing, because its his only elite tool. His athleticism has come under question, but I think he’s going to be just fine in LF for the foreseeable future. The estimated bonus for the 39th overall pick is about $850K, and I’d expect Greene to sign somewhere around there. He thought he was getting drafted by the Brewers, so I’m not so sure a pre-draft deal was worked out here. I debated dropping him in as a 4 star guy, but I think his power, a potential 80 on the 20-80 scale, could make him an impact player even if none of his other tools are better than average. He seems to have a good idea at the plate, which leads me to believe he’ll draw his share of walks and be a good complete hitter. Its borderline. If you rank him a 4 star guy, I can understand that.
Roman Quinn, SS [Estimated bonus = $600,000] – Quinn’s speed is game changing, and was rated as possibly the best in the entire draft. He’s not a big guy, but he has very strong wrists and a quick swing, which give him pop for his size. Watching a few videos of him taking balls at SS, his actions seem fine, and his arm looks like it will play. His speed in CF would be elite and give him the potential to be a game changing defender, but he could be even more valuable at SS or 2B. In a full season, he could be a 40 SB guy, and if he can improve his switch hitting ability, we’re talking about a starting SS/2B with elite speed. Big upside. Though he has a commitment to a good college, everything I’ve read indicates he’s signable. The 2010 slot recommendation at #66 last year was about $600K.
4 Star Guys
Tyler Greene, SS [Estimated Bonus = $900,000] – Greene is a very confident young man with big aspirations. He has great raw tools at SS, with a frame that could indicate above average power at the position, with a very strong swing. Unlike Quinn, his commitment is stronger, and it will take a sizeable bonus to buy him away from Georgia. $900K is basically beginning of the 2nd round money, which is about what he is at this point, but he has significant upside.
Mitchell Walding, SS [Estimated Bonus = $500,000] – Walding doesn’t have the same fanfare as Greene, but is close to him on a tools level. As a 2 sport guy, he is a bit more raw, but his upside is comparable to Greene’s. Like Greene, he has a commitment to Oregon, a very good college program, and he won’t come cheap.
3 Star Guys
Harold Martinez, 3B [Estimated Bonus = $450,000] – Martinez has two potential well above average tools in his raw power and his arm strength. His junior year was a bit of a disaster, but the frame, the power, and the defense are still there. He may never hit more than .270 in a season, which can be mitigated if he draws walks and hits for power. He noted his eagerness to sign and get his career going, and it was just confirmed today that he did sign. The slot here is about $525,000, but I expect he’ll sign for a bit less.
Riley Moore, C [Estimated Bonus = $450,000] – Opinion seems to be split on Moore, but I was swayed by the writeup from John Klima at Baseball Beginnings. His Arizona commitment is valuable, and with the premium placed on catching, he can reasonably assume that if he goes to school and develops, he could be a potential first 2-3 rounds guy in 2015. That would mean a bonus of at least $500K. its a tough choice. While his potential might warrant a ranking as a 4 star guy, I’m being conservative because catchers are fickle.
Jake Overbey, SS [Estimated Bonus = $300,000] – Overbey appears to have slipped through the cracks to the Phillies. Teams seemed to assume that he was a lock to attend college and join his brother at Ole Miss. However, it appears the Phillies did their homework and found out he might well be signable, and it may not even take a fortune to get it done. I feel good about this, and he’ll be an intriguing guy to add to the system if things get done.
Cody Asche, 3B [Estimated Bonus = $200,000] – Nebraska players rarely come back for their senior year, and its tough to see Asche improving his stock too much by coming back. He had a great junior year, and as a hitter with an advanced approach, could likely head to Lakewood after signing and then possibly start next year in Clearwater. 5th round picks generally receive anywhere from $50,000 to $300K, so I expect he’ll be on the higher end of that range. I’d be happy if he came at $150K.
Adam Morgan, LHP [Estimated Bonus = $250,000] – Morgan went earlier than he thought he would go, which means he should be able to get signed for a little less than slot. When the pick first happened, my first thought was “Matt Way”, which doesn’t bode well for Morgan, but upon further review, I think he’s going to be a bit better than that, and will get more than the $40,000 Way got as a 5th rounder in 2009.
Ryan Garvey, OF [Estimated Bonus = $350,000] – Like Overbey, the word appeared to be that Garvey was almost a lock to attend USC, but the elder Garvey said after the draft that he’s open to signing if he gets a good offer, and that they told teams all along they were open to offers to sign. Garvey’s best tools are his hit tool and power, and he’d be a very nice get for $400K or less.
Braden Shull, LHP [Estimated Bonus = $300,000] – Hugely projectable LHP with decent now stuff and a lot more to come. His Kansas State commitment has plenty of value for him, though some reports indicate he’d be open to signing if he got a solid offer.
Brandon Pletsch, SS [Estimated Bonus = $500,000] – His dad coached him in high school, and he has a solid commitment to UNLV, one which by all accounts he will not be passing on, so money probably is not an issue here. I like him as a 3 star guy, but I don’t think we have any chance to sign him.
Brendon Hayden, 3B/RHP [Estimated Bonus = $350,000] – Two way player with potential in both spots, but a strong commitment to Virginia Tech, and he seems like he’s leaning towards college. He wants to hit it seems and not pitch, so if the Phillies give him a chance to play 3B, he may be signable. He may also require more than $350,000, which might make him too pricey based on the high risk.
Nevin Wilson, LHP [Estimated Bonus = $300,000] – He’s raw and is mostly projection, but he has a very fluid and easy delivery which bodes well for future command. If his fastball ticks up, he could be a solid middle of the rotation starter. But we’re just dreaming at this point, and he has a commitment to a big time school in Arkansas, so he’s probably college bound.
Tim Ponto, RHP [Estimated Bonus = $300,000] – Raw local product, huge frame that you can dream on, but a commitment to St Joes gives him some leverage. If he has a big summer, a little schmoozing from current Phillies may help turn his head, but I’d guess college at this point.
2 Star Guys
For these guys, I’m putting the bonus estimate at $150K. If we’re able to sign a bunch of them, I’d guess a few of them will sign for less, and maybe one or two might need another $25K. Its so tough to estimate these types of things.
Brett Magard, LHP – Almost went 3 stars, because I like what I see and what I’ve read, but he is pretty raw and is another big project, and college seems more likely.
Kenny Giles, RHP – Raw arm, big potential, but very rough around the edges and long odds of putting everything together. Borderline 3 star guy, but I need more than a FB to rank him there
Jesen Dygestile-Therrien, RHP – Raw Canadian arm, solid mechanics, some projection here, would be a nice get and seems like a decent bet to sign for less than $200K.
Yacksel Rios, RHP – Already signed, and likely for $100K or less.
Colton Murray, RHP – Curious that he slid to us so deep in the draft, as a junior he has eligibility left, but should sign for $150K or less.
Kyle Olson, C – Very raw, but with a strong arm and some power potential. JuCo commit, but hopefully signable.
Scott Tomassetti, C – Like him a bit more than Olson, has a UNLV commitment which will cost more to buy out, may not be signable for anything reasonable.
Kyle Freeland, LHP – Intriguing lefty, huge projection here, with a commit to a mediocre or below D-1 program, might take more than $200K, but not sure he’s worth more at this stage
Austin Wright, LHP – Should sign for $50K or less, potential LOOGY or spot starter, should at least have a shot, but low upside unless something major clicks.
Logan Moore, C – Already signed. Fringy ceiling, Phillies obviously intrigued. Borderline 1 star guy, but I’m giving him the benefit because he signed so early and wants to get after it.
Austin Knight, C – Seems very raw, especially defensively, and seems committed to college.
Austin DiCharry, RHP – Has had shoulder issues and has eligibility left, so he probably won’t sign unless he gets a nice offer.
1 Star Guys
I consider all of these guys org filler with very little chance of being average major leaguers. One guy could jump out and surprise, but I think the odds are long. As such, I’m not giving any more details on them. You can check out the draft pick register for bio/info.
Zach Wright, C
Trey Ford, 3B – Signed
Taylor Black, SS
Drew Hillman, 3B
John Hill, C – Signed
Pete Lavin, CF – Signed
Matt Holland, OF – Signed
Cody Fick, RHP – Signed
Matt Campbell, RHP
Ryan Duke, RHP – Signed
Michael Rocha, RHP
Paul Cusick, RHP – Signed
Ian Durham, RHP – Signed
Mike Marshall, 1B
Greg Herbst, RHP – Signed
Brock Stassi, OF – Signed
Mike Nastold, RHP
Brendan Hendriks, 1B – Very raw, college bound.
Andre Kinder, LHP
Andrew Amaro, 2B – Very raw, college bound.
No feel at all
I’m putting a few guys here, because I really have no idea if they are good prospects or not, because I haven’t found much info on them.
Kewby Miller, 1B
Jonathan Knight, OF
Koyla Stephenson, RHP
A.J. Ladwig, RHP
My Preference List
If I had to rank the 10 guys I like the most, not assuming bonus requirements or things of that nature, my list might look like this
1. Larry Greene
2. Roman Quinn
3. Tyler Greene
4. Harold Martinez
5. Mitchell Walding
6. Riley Moore
7. Braden Shull
8. Adam Morgan
9. Ryan Garvey
10. Cody Asche/Kyle Freeland
Lets put a bow on this draft with a summary. Until we get to August 16th and the dust has settled on all of the signings, its impossible to “rate” or “grade” the draft. I like a lot of the prospects we picked. There is a bunch of filler in there too, but that happens in every draft for every team. I see intriguing guys at almost every position, and my hope is that the Phillies decide to be aggressive and spend, especially if it appears every other team is doing the same, especially those that have previously toed the line to the degree the Phillies have. I’m not expecting $10M to be spent here to sign everyone, but I would expect to get Larry Greene, Quinn and Martinez signed, one of the 4 star guys, and then a nice handful of the 3 star guys and a few of my 2 star guys at a minimum. I wouldn’t get too worked up if it takes a while for guys to sign. In an ideal world, you want guys out there getting reps this summer, but its not the end of the world if a number of guys, especially the prep prospects, sign at the deadline. These kids will be playing summer ball, and their performance will help the Phillies decide what to offer them.
I’ll try to do updates as needed during the summer, and then of course will write another article after the signing deadline. Until then, keep checking the draft picks register page for updates and post any and all information you have in that spot.